In 15 Statistics That Should Change the Business World—But Haven’t, a featured article on LinkedIn today, Colin Shaw (CEO, Beyond Philosophy) cites several statistics from a blog post on Return on Behavior Magazine by James Digby. As noted in Shaw’s title, these facts, though compelling, have not been taken into full consideration. Digby’s article was published in 2010, but the statistics are still surprising, all the more so by noting how little has changed.

iStock_000000100537XSmallGiven the prevalence of social media—and how often unhappy customers take their complaints to Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp—, it’s a wonder that customer service isn’t a top priority for more organizations. Yet, clearly, it isn’t. Think back: When was the last time you were annoyed as a customer? Within the last month? The last week? Today? In a digital world, human interactions matter, either in an organization’s favor, or not.

How does this translate for associations? Well, your members are your customers, and they leave every interaction with your staff feeling delighted, indifferent, or frustrated. How much emphasis is placed on membership interaction in your organization?

In reviewing Digby’s 2010 blog post, I picked a few of my own favorites:

  • Dissatisfied customers whose complaints are taken care of are more likely to remain loyal, and even become advocates, as those who are “just” customers — Strauss & Seidel
  • A customer is four times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related. — Bain & Company
  • 72% of all customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agentHarris
  • 69% said they were on hold for too longHarris
  • 55% of current marketing spend is on new customer acquisitionMcKinsey
  • 33% of current marketing spend is on brand awarenessMcKinsey
  • Only 12% of current marketing spend is on customer retentionMcKinsey

As I think about Omnipress, I’m pleased that everyone who calls during business hours talks to a real person. I believe we’ve scored many points in the first category as well—If we screw up, we’ll make it right, and probably create a fan in the process. In regards to the last three budget-related stats, however, we’re due for some improvement. How do you feel about these findings? Do any of them resonate as you consider your association?

What’s your association doing right with customer service? What still needs work? Share with your colleagues in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.


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Omnipress delivers educational content for associations and other organizations. Digital and print solutions for in-person, virtual, and hybrid conferences and training programs.

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